There once was a time when fire was not a destructive horror, but a wonderful thing, a thing of beauty; in fact fire was so mild in its nature, that water didn't even put fire out. During this time, there lived a fire nymph by the name of Pyra. This lovely fire nymph loved to tend to her garden everyday; and her fiery brilliance didn't burn the garden she tended, but simply helped to provide it with the warmth and light it needed. Little did she know, her fiery beauty was not hidden in the security and secrecy of the garden; she was being admired from afar. You see, her garden was located a short ways from the ocean's edge, and during her time in the garden she so loved, she had gained the attention of the professed god of the sea, Poseidon. As soon as he saw her, he marveled, and knew that he must have her.
In the time before he met his wife Amphitrite, Poseidon's kingdom was run fairly well, but he strongly felt that if he had a queen, it would be that much better. If anything, a queen would certainly keep him company (and ruling the seas could seem such lonely work, at times). So, it was decided. He immediately began to devise a way to woo his soon-to-be queen.
Firstly, to attract the maiden, he took the form of a man. Not that his true form was anything to look away from (in fact, he was divinely handsome), but this was indeed his problem. Such a profoundly otherworldly beauty would consume even her fiery essence, and leave her dead. And so, in his human form, he slowly ascended from the waters, with clothes that were princely (and dry) and a stride that proclaimed his royal heritage. He took care to not look like he had just walked out of the ocean as he made his way toward the garden to meet the object of his affections.
As he got closer and closer to her, his otherworldly presence caught Pyra's attention, and she quickly turned around, shocked.
"Who are you?" She asked the man, with a mix of fear and intrigue, "I've never seen you in these parts before."
"I am Poseidon," the sea god announced proudly, "And I rule the world beneath the waves. I wish to take you as my bride."
Pyra was surprised at the request, as anyone would imagine, but with a few minutes to process it all, she began to think about the possibilities. She could rule the Seven Seas alongside this proposing monarch! She could be privy to the Counsel of the Gods! What's more, she could become immortal, a goddess! With that much power (and that much trust), she could rule while he was away, and carry out her own affairs as she wished. And so it was settled.
That instant, he took her hand, and the two headed for the water's edge. With a wave of Poseidon's hand, the waters took them up, and formed into a diamond-colored chariot, to carry he and his bride beneath the waves. With another touch, the fire nymph opened her eyes under the waters. Not only could she see perfectly, but she could breathe and speak, as well! And later that night they would be wed in front of a statue of Poseidon, with all the Greek gods and goddesses present to bear witness (all except Hermes, who had been sent out to spread the word).
The marriage, however was to be short. At first, things were blissful, and peaceful, as was to be expected, but there were underhanded workings afoot. One night, while Poseidon was away on some sea-god business, Pyra put her insidious plan into action. She crept down the hall from the Royal Master Bedroom, and made her way to a door that clearly appeared off limits to anyone other than the King of the Seas himself. With a snap of her now-empowered fingers, the door unlocked, and she descended down the long flight of stairs to what appeared to be a dungeon. All manner of horrors lived within that dungeon; demons Poseidon had conquered, skeletons of mortal foes he'd sunk to watery graves, and even numerous magical implements (he rarely used these). And yet, the most intriguing sight in Poseidon's little house of horrors had to be the large gaping hole in the floor, which was situated at the very end of the long hall.
"Perfect." Pyra made her way to the shelf which held Poseidon's magical books, grabbed the one she needed, and hurried to the end of the hall, to peek into the hole that she knew she had to reach. She looked down into the pit, which was barred with unbreakable adamant, and met gazes with...her brother, the Titan of Fire.
"SISTER!" The Titan cried from the depths of his prison, "Have you come to free me?"
"Yes, I have, brother..." The fire nymph replied, a wicked smile growing on her face, "Do not fret. It won't be much longer, now..."
She opened the great tome that she had taken from the shelf, called the Book of Atrocities, and began to read the nefarious printings, which were written in some language that she would not have known had she not recently been made into a goddess.
"Igni pyra eura tai...
Hoppei hypa thanatai..."
And, with that, the prison itself shook. The bars of adamant (the hardest substance known) began to quake, like feeble sticks holding up something too heavy. The water around the prison began to swirl and to boil, disturbed by the very heat of the Titan's wrath. And with a mighty rush, the adamant was shattered, and the water jetted him out of his prison, seemingly glad to be rid of him.
"FINALLY!" The Titan called triumphantly, "I AM FREE! Now, to deal with my old nemesis..."
Just as the Titan had made his prison break, however, Poseidon was arriving back from his sea-god business. As he approached, he felt a tremor in the waters, a familiar tremor that let him know that something just wasn't right... He hastened the chariot back to his palace, and knew immediately to check the dungeon where he kept conquered villains. He burst open the door, only to be met with an unfamiliar attack...a fire blast!
"FIRE! You attack me with FIRE in my own kingdom?!" Poseidon bellowed with great anger. It's not that fire couldn't be used to burn things at that time (especially by divine beings like gods and Titans); it's just that it hadn't ever been used like that before. The thought infuriated the sea god, and so he leapt at the powerful Titan. The two grappled, and their rematch was on. Poseidon tossed the Titan into the stone of the dungeon walls. The Titan pulled himself from the imprint he left, and landed a fiery fist across Poseidon's imperial jaw. At first, Poseidon reeled from the blows of the physically larger being who opposed him, but then he looked over to Pyra, his wife, and he had a renewed will to overcome the great brute. He put forth his hands for his final resort; in his palms appeared his trusty trident, much to the horror of his powerful opponent.
Realizing the terrible mistake he'd made opposing the King of the Seas (especially in his own domain), the Titan began to back up, until he had finally reached the edge of the pit from which he had only recently escaped. He looked down, behind him, to the pit, and then looked again to the three-pointed edge of Poseidon's powerful golden weapon. As the Titan realized which punishment was truly the worse fate, he offered Poseidon to go back into the pit peaceably. There was no reason to raise a fuss over a silly misunderstanding, he pleaded. Unfortunately for the brutish villain, however, Poseidon wasn't in the bargaining mood. With a monstrous, bellowing roar, he plunged his trident into the stone floor of the dungeon, causing the pit to become even deeper, until the bottom fell out, and became a fiery portal to the torturous underworld, Tartarus. The yawning doorway to the fiery pits of the underworld grew wider and wider, with bricks from the floor of the dungeon falling into it, until the chasm's edge met the back of his ankles.
Before he even had the chance to retaliate, Poseidon lunged forward again, and with another thrust of his trident, pushed the Titan of Fire into the unnatural pit of flames, where even his fiery body would find unending woe and torment. In the following instant, the hole in the ground closed up, sealed by a patch made from the adamant that formerly formed the bars of the Titan's prison. His job now done, Poseidon's trident disappeared, and he hung his head, knowing that perhaps the hardest task was yet to come.
As his wife, Pyra, came over to congratulate him on his courageous victory, he pulled away from her, and met her glance with malice. All the prisoners quaked fearfully in their prisons, knowing the familiar disturbance in the waters, marking his impending wrath. However, the sea-god didn't just launch into his tirade, as expected. Instead, he decided to get some answers first.
"What were you doing down here? I believe the markings on this door marked this room as off-limits, to EVERYONE. That, wife, includes you."
"I rushed down to see what all the commotion was..." Pyra lied, hoping that the fallacy would evade Poseidon's notice. It didn't. Indeed, her heartbeat reverberated through the water's and Poseidon could tell that she was lying. This made him even angrier, until he could no longer hold it in.
"WHY WOULD YOU LIE TO ME?!" He started, "I LOVED you and you BETRAYED me! WHAT am I to DO with you?!"
Pyra, fearful that she would meet the same fate as her older brother, was speechless. However, not speaking was probably a bad idea, because Poseidon would only give her that short instance to defend herself before leaping at her with unearthly malice. He thought to strangle her, until the life was gone from her, but then realized that that would be impossible, as she was now a goddess...for now. As soon as the two had been married, she was granted immortality, but in order for her to be subject to punishment by him, she would have to be mortal again. And what would be a better way to undo her immortality (along with their marriage), than by simply declaring that it be done?
"Traitorous fire nymph Pyra...I do not simply wish to be unwed to you...I desire that you be banished from my very presence." And with that, The Fates looked down, granting him his wish. In that instant, Pyra felt an unfamiliar sensation. Instead of being crushed by the pressure of the water, as was expected now that she was rendered mortal again, she felt divine power rush through her mortal body. Simply put, she wasn't able to bear the divine essence, or the divine presence of Poseidon himself, and so it consumed her. Not even a trace of her existence was left. However, the Fates, being wise and sage as they were, took care to not only get rid of her, but to get rid of all others like her (in the event something like this should ever happen again).
All throughout Greece, every Fire Nymph that came into contact with water was immediately put out, and every fire that was touched by water was reduced to steam. From this day forward, the Fates were determined to spread Poseidon's message to all generations. Fire was now able to be used to damage and to harm, in addition to providing its beneficial light and warmth (just like the Titan of Fire had misused his fire). However, if it should happen to threaten the world again (as Pyra had done in the past), Poseidon's touch alone would come forth to extinguish the threat, except, of course, for those who had lost his favor.
“…Judge not what a man has done, but judge what he could have done if he was a different bloke altogether. For art thou a leper? And a leper can changeth his spots…” --Rudy Wade, Misfits (Series 4, Episode 8)